Oyo State government on Thursday said efforts are ongoing to ensure that maternity leave for pregnant and nursing mothers is extended from four to six months for nursing mothers in the employment of the State while men also will soon begin to enjoy paternity leave.
The State Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni stated this at a two-day workshop on ‘Safe Motherhood’, organized by Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo state chapter, held at Dapo Aderogba Hall, NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
Sanni said the extension was necessary so that adequate care would be given to the newborn while the mothers also have the privilege to take care of themselves, as the present administration under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde supported every key aspect of motherhood in order to promote well being of women and children in the State.
She emphasized that the administration has been promoting, educating, empowering, protecting children and women from all forms of abuse, while also supporting them financially, especially for those in need of financial help.
“Safe motherhood is a serious that every government must put in the front burner of discussions, it will bring about a happy home and promote a progressive society,” she hinted.
Also in her remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs And Community Development, Honourable Wumi Oladeji while speaking on the State House of Assembly’s contribution to Safe Motherhood, said the Assembly has been gender-friendly and has enacted laws to take adequate care of the interest of women and children, adding that, Oyo state House of Assembly was the first to domesticate the Child Rights Law (2006) in the country.
Other gender friendly laws enacted by the House as mentioned by the lawmaker are Violence Against Women (2016), Oyo State Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternity Services Law, (2019), Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition) Law, (2016).
Honourable Oladeji said the House also has some Bills under processing that were meant to protect the interest of women, such as Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2019; Child Sexual Offences Bill, (2019); and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team and Referral Centre Bill, (2020).
While declaring the workshop opened, the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun said, Oyo state government has been doing its best to reduce the suffering of women through every means possible, which he said has brought succor to their lives.
He said with free education policy, most women have been able to send their children to school as majority of them used to bear the burden of taking care of the home front.
He advised women to be prayerful, support their husbands and raise their children well while striving to be at the top of their career.